Thirty-three Jesuits and lay colleagues collaborating in the work of online and digital communications met for four days in Ludwigshafen, Germany for the annual Jesuit Webmasters (Jesweb) meeting from April 10-14. Originally a gathering of webmasters of the European Conference, the meeting has expanded to include participants from Asia Pacific, South-Asia, Canada and the United States, and the Africa and Madagascar conferences.
The programme for the four day meeting included a number of keynote presentations and workshops while Jesuits and colleagues also had the opportunity to update each other on the online developments and strategies of their various provinces. Patrick Muldoon of Sacred Space and Irish Jesuit Communications, who was part of the Co-ordinating Committee of JesWeb 2016, presented a workshop at the meeting in which he communicated his personal experience of using blogging and social media for evangelisation. Patrick explained how the more quickly and easily information is shared, the more rapidly that the content will spread; and he underlined the importance of evaluating the impact of communications across all media channels.
Christof Wolf SJ of Loyola Productions Munich delivered the keynote address “Film as an instrument of promotion”. Christof works in collaboration with Loyola Productions in Los Angelus in making documentaries, educational and promotional films, many of which can be viewed on their channel on You Tube.
Patrick Mulemi SJ Director of Communications and Public Relations at the General Curia outlined how the Jesuits plan to promote and spread news about ‘General Congregation 36’, the upcoming meeting in October when several hundred delegates from around the world converge in Rome will meet to elect a successor to Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, Superior General of the Order.
Meanwhile there were also an update by Pawel Kowalski SJ about Magis 2016, a meeting of young people (ages 18-30) from all over the world who are interested in Ignatian spirituality, which takes place before World Youth Day in Krakow. Magis participants, including a group from Ireland led by Niall Leahy SJ, will take part in a series of experiments in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania before gathering for a closing Festival of Nations in Częstochowa.
Jesweb participants took part in a walking tour of Heidelberg and gathered together for Mass with José De Pablo SJ, Assistant of the Conference of European Jesuits, at the Jesuit Church, the most prominent architectural monument of the Jesuit Quarter in the ‘Old Town’ of Heidelberg.